John Hollenbeck's journey has been one of the most remarkable in contemporary music. Building on a wealth of experience in jazz and world styles as well as a deep interest in contemporary composition and spiritual practice, he has forged a lyrical new musical language, as accessible and expressive as it is advanced. After receiving degrees in percussion (B.M.) and jazz composition (M.M.) from the Eastman School of Music, Hollenbeck moved to New York City in the early 1990's. He has worked with many of the world's leading musicians in jazz (Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Hersch, Tony Malaby, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Kenny Wheeler), world music (Pablo Ziegler), and new music (Meredith Monk). In the fall of 2005, John accepted a professorship in Jazz Drums and Improvisation at the Jazz Institute Berlin in Germany.
Hollenbeck has received numerous awards and commissions which include a National Endowment grant to study composition
with Bob Brookmeyer in 1994 and a Meet the Composer's Grant in 1995 and 2001. He won the Jazz Composers Alliance Composition Contest in 1995 and 2002 and was awarded the 2002 IAJE Gil Evans Fellowship and 2003 IAJE/ASCAP
Commission. Hollenbeck received a grant from Arts International to travel with his Claudia Quintet for performances in Brazil in the spring of 2002. In 2001, 2003, and 2007 John held a month-long residency at the Blue Mountain Center in New York, and in the fall of 2005, was a Fellow of the Wurlitzer House Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. Hollenbeck was nominated by the Jazz Journalists Association for the following: Up and Coming Jazz Musician of the Year (2004, 2006); Jazz Composer of the Year (2006, 2007, 2010); Arranger of the Year (2010); Drummer of the Year and Large Ensemble of the Year (2007). John Hollenbeck was named as both the Rising Star Composer and the Rising Star Arranger of the Year in the 2008 & 2009 Down Beat Magazine’s Critics Poll. Down Beat magazine has in previous years recognized him as a "Rising Star" in the Composer, Jazz Artist, Arranger, Big Band, and Jazz Group (Claudia Quintet) categories. The John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble two records, A Blessing (2005) and Eternal Interlude (2009), received Grammy Nominations. In 2007 John was awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship.